Trump administration praises UK sanctions on human rights abusers

The Trump administration issued a statement Monday praising a set of sanctions imposed against suspected human rights abusers by the British government on Monday, lauding the United Kingdom’s “global leadership on the promotion and protection of human rights.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the sanctions imposed Monday under a 2018 law against money laundering “marks the beginning of a new era for UK sanctions policy and cooperation” between the U.S. and U.K.

“The UK Global Human Rights sanctions regime will give the UK a powerful new economic tool to promote accountability for human rights abuse on a global scale. The UK’s new powers will complement the efforts of the United States and Canada, further enhancing our ability to act together,” said Pompeo.

“The United States will continue to seek out additional allies and partners to jointly leverage all tools at our disposal to deny access to the U.S. and international financial systems to all those who engage in serious human rights abuses,” he continued.

Sanctions imposed Monday under the act targeted several top Russian and Saudi figures, including some believed to be connected to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Other top figures on the list include Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, the highest federal investigative body in Russia, according to Reuters.

Russian officials have vowed to respond to the sanctions, with one spokesman for the Russian government calling them “outrageous,” according to a state-run news agency.

“If you’re a kleptocrat or an organised criminal, you will not be able to launder your blood money in this country,” British foreign minister Dominic Raab said in a statement to Parliament announcing the sanctions, according to Reuters.

“Today this government … sends a very clear message on behalf of the British people that those with blood on their hands, the thugs and despots, the henchmen and dictators, will not be free to waltz into this country to buy up property on the King’s Road, to do their Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge, or frankly to siphon dirty money through British banks or other financial institutions,” he reportedly added.

Tags Alexander Bastrykin Mike Pompeo Russia U.K. United Kingdom Vladimir Putin

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